Revelation of Rivalry

Varsity football team defeats Klein Oak for ninth time


File Photo

Tigers get ready to hike the ball to #34 at the start of the play.

The players dressed in white and gold step on the field, ready to face their opponents dressed in black. The athletes exchange glares and quickly gather in a huddle, each team devising a plan to take down the other. This is a familiar scene for the Klein Collins Tigers when facing the Klein Oak Panthers.

According to head football coach Andrew Svoboda, there has been a sense of rivalry between the Klein Collins varsity football team and the Klein Oak varsity football team since the school opened in 2001.

“When Klein Collins opened, all of our kids came from Klein Oak,” Svoboda said. “That zoning situation is most likely what started the competitive nature of the games.”

In 2003, the first varsity game with seniors was played between the two schools. Since then, the teams have played each other every year.
“We approach all of our games with the same focus, but [the games against Klein Oak] seem to be a little more electric than some of the others,” Svoboda said. “It has been that way [since the beginning].”

Collins has won nine of the 14 games that the teams have played against each other, and Oak has won only five.

“[The rivalry] means a lot, because [Oak is] the biggest rival of the year,” senior varsity football player Joshua Hoover said. “I don’t think we should ever work harder to play a certain opponent, but we’re definitely working hard to beat Oak.”

The rivalry between the two schools will continue to exist according to Klein Oak head football coach, David Smith.

“There is history with the two teams,” Smith said. “The players don’t forget the past games. Many of them grew up playing on teams together in little league.”

According to Hoover, the rivalry with Oak helps the team to work hard.

“If we lost that [game,] we would definitely be heartbroken,” Hoover said. “So, we’re trying to work harder and get ourselves together.”

According to Svoboda, the team never needs extra motivation to face Oak.

“The opponent of the week does not drive our team,” Svoboda said. “We are concerned with us getting better as a team, regardless of the opponent.”